Work Fitness Application Design

Work Fitness Application Design
You spend a third of your life at work. So why not make those trips to the water cooler work for you? “Your Job is Killing You” is the working title for an iPhone application I have been working on. It reminds you to get up and move around throughout your work day counteracting the health risks that go along with long periods of inactivity. Throughout the day the application would send you a workout session of scale-able intensity that is meant to take between 5 and 10 min for use in an office environment. It is an application for people interested in getting healthier without changing their current schedule.


Design a fitness application that help the user stay active on a regular basis throughout the day.

Interactive Mock-Up


A coworker of mine had started doing sets of exercises intermittently throughout the day. It started with putting up a door pull-up bar that he would use while making coffee. This eventually led to him setting a a goal of a specific number of pull-ups and push-ups to complete during the workday because this 8 hour block of time was the easiest in which he could plan.

Additionally, there have been recent articles that coin “sitting as the new smoking” and getting up and being active for short bursts every few hours reduces risks of health complications. perhaps even better than one extended workout session.

Competitive Analysis:

I no way did exhaustive research but there is no shortage of fitness apps out there. These applications range from more complex workout programs to quick seven minute workouts to ones focusing on accountability and community. A few of the more complex applications had office workouts in them but was not the focus of the application and the office fitness specific ones I looked at were lacking.

Design choices these applications made:

Time versus Reps

Counting a movement by time instead of reps has definite advantages. Advantages like it can be hands free, requires no input to move to the next movement and the amount of effort is scaled by it. Meaning, 10 repetitions of a movement may be easy to some and hard to others whereas 30 seconds of effort is equal for both. Most applications use time as a the unit to measure.

Representing the Person

These applications usually a have a video, picture or diagram of the movement you are on in order to help the user understand how to perform it correctly. Some applications choose to use real people while others choose to use illustrations representing people. Images of real people had the benefits of being much closer representation of the movement possibly leading to easier understanding. Illustrations allow for emphasis of areas of the body important to the movement as well as avoid alienating any users.

Movement Simplicity

Are the movements common knowledge? Is a static image enough to explain the movement?

In Conclusion, even though some workout applications had low impact or office workout selections in them they were not the focus and they were not made for a user to rely on to stay active throughout the day.


Persona Creation

Having identified my object of creating a app that reminds you throughout the day to perform short workouts to get you up and moving, I created a number of proto-personas that I felt could share that goal and might use a product like this. From the multiple personsa created, I identified similar features found in them.

  • Relatively comfortable using technology
  • Comfortable Multitasking
  • Has an outside Motivation – Pain, Doctor’s Warning, Fear
  • Generally the persona was old enough to have random pains but young enough to be digitally savvy.
  • Sits for most of the day.
  • Has some freedom at work
  • Doesn’t want/can’t change their schedule – (weither active or not )
From these similarities, I consolidated my assumptions into a singular persona, Matt.
For my target persona, I defined basic tasks that Matt would have to accomplish in the app. Later, I also listed a number of pains that would cause Matt to not use the application.

Tasks For Matt

  • “I want to set up a workout”
  • “I want to work out right now”
  • “I want to see how i am doing”

Pains for Matt

  • “I can’t make specific time for this”
  • “I don’t want to look weird”
  • “I will forget to do them”
  • “It’s too complex, I don’t want to deal with it”
  • “I can’t do that movement”
  • “I don’t want to get dirty or sweaty”

Screen Creation

First i focused on identifying the steps in the journey of Matt creating a workout. I started with a rough sketch idea of the architecture then sketched each the screens on to a marker board making decisions on layout by feel then took pictures of them and imported them in to InVision and evaluated.
I then made  wireframe mock-ups in Balsamiq to replace the rough marker sketches.

As I refined the screens I revisited Matt’s pains. I took interest in the “I look weird” feeling he could have and created a quick story of how this app would solve this.

This scenario show what advantages counting  repetitions have in an office environment:

  • - not time sensitive, you can be interrupted and then continue without touching the device
  • - it doesn’t require sound
  • - results in more interesting stats for tracking.

Screen Refinement

From the initial marker board sketch, I created a base version of the screen in Balsamiq. This first refinement is based on feel.  Periodically, I would explore different elements of a screen through sketching ideas. Then update the wireframe image.

Afterwards, I identified the key screens of the application to refine further. Stylistically, I used inspiration from other work out apps as well as to-do list apps to create a friendly looking accessible style.